One look at Luke and Mandy Woodford’s, fantastical and ethereal fine-art photography and you’re transported somewhere full of wonder. For the husband and wife duo, that’s exactly what their art does for them too; providing a much-needed form of self-expression and escapism. After over five years as a creative team, Luke and Mandy want to open this same door to aspiring creatives who have been held back by mental health issues by founding their own charity: TALK.
Statistically speaking, one in four of us are affected by mental health difficulties at some point in our life but, as Luke and Mandy point out on the TALK website, that’s just the people we know about. Many may suffer in silence, but creative passions – like photography – can provide an outlet that offers an escape. But what if it could not only provide escapism, but also a safe space to share your own story with people who have had similar experiences?
Fostering the belief that open communication is key in understanding both our own struggles and the struggles of others, TALK will aim to provide both experienced and budding creatives with a place to come together and express themselves, with the ultimate goal of establishing permanent creative spaces across the globe.
Luke and Mandy say: “The main reason why many of us tend to suffer in silence is for fear that people won’t understand. Every member of Team TALK is ready to share their knowledge, resources and experiences with you. They are not going to lecture you, they are not going to judge you, and they won’t pretend to have all the answers.”
TALK workshops with both Luke & Mandy themselves and a growing team of ambassadors will commence this year and will give you the opportunity to find a new passion with the best the industry has to offer.
To kickstart the journey , TALK is holding a competition with £4500 of photography gear on offer that have helped Luke and Mandy on their own journey. The prizes include a Rotolight AEOS and Sony A7rIII that will give any photographer the tools they need to improve their photography. The top 15 winners will be exhibited by Wex Photo Video at their Manchester store throughout April and presented with an award.
The theme is mental health, with entries closing 22nd June 2020. Enter here. Good luck!
Check out the video below to see just how much Luke & Mandy’s creative journey means to them as they turn a derelict chapel into a work of art: